Top 12 Advantages of Online Degrees and Distance Learning

Over the past couple of years, online education has become more well-known in society due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the global crisis, students have been given the opportunity to learn from the safety and comfort of their own homes via online portals. Education is not the only thing that has been taken virtually by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more employees working from home and many events around the world now being held virtually rather than in-person.

Advantages of Online Degrees

While campuses are getting back to normal and students are able to get the full experience of getting their degree once again, online learning is only going from strength to strength. Online, distance learning degree options are not something new and have been around since long before the pandemic as an alternative option for students who want more flexibility while getting their qualifications. Online degree programs are a great option for a wide range of different students including students who need to continue working full-time while getting their degree, students who are parents and need to fit their education around their children, and students who are unwell or disabled and need a more comfortable, flexible way to learn.

Top 12 Advantages of Online Degrees and Distance Learning

Studying online offers a range of benefits for students that are worth keeping in mind if you’re thinking about getting a degree. Some of the main reasons why a growing number of students now decide to study online include:

1. Choice of Programs

If you want to get a degree but wouldn’t be in a position to relocate to a different area to get into a university or college that offers the program that you want, studying online is a great alternative to consider. Students who want to take a certain degree program will usually be able to find a much wider range of options available online, giving them the chance to study what they want without all the upheaval that might come along with it otherwise. Check out SBU Online for a wide range of different programs in journalism, leadership, communications, business, cybersecurity, and more, and find a convenient option for the program that you want.

2. Cost Savings

The cost of getting a college degree is on the rise and student debt is currently at an all-time high. Because of this, online education is becoming a popular option for more and more students who want to try and save money on the overall cost of getting their desired degree. Tuition fees can vary for online degree programs in much the same way as a traditional campus-based program. While for the most part, you shouldn’t expect to make a huge amount of savings on tuition, studying online can make it easier for you to find a cheaper option for the program that you want.

When it comes to saving money, the most considerable savings that you can make by studying online is on the associated costs of getting your degree. With no need to relocate to attend the college that offers the program you want and no requirement for you to commute every day to attend physical classes, most online students find that over the four years or so that they are taking the program, the amount of money that they save as a result will substantially add up.

3. Study While Working

More and more students today require a program that is flexible enough for them to work at the same time. Whether you are considering a career change and need to get a degree to facilitate this, or are supporting yourself financially through college and need to continue working while studying in order to pay your bills and live comfortably as a student, online students have access to a more flexible option, that allows them to prioritize working if needed and fit their education around their job.

Many online programs are completely flexible, giving you total freedom to choose when you want to study rather than being required to attend classes at set times that aren’t up for negotiation. When you enroll in an online degree program that simply uploads learning materials to the online portal for you to access them at times that are convenient to you, you can work your schedule around your career if needed. For many students, this can be an ideal option since the ability to work more hours while you are studying and fit the two together in a way that works for you also allows you to continue earning a better income while you study, reducing the overall cost of going to college and providing you with more financial stability.

4. Improve Your Soft Skills

Today, the workforce is becoming more and more remote, which is why online degree graduates are set to be in more demand in the future. While you are studying for your online degree, you will not only get the opportunity to build your technical skills related to the subject that you are studying and the future career that you want, but you’ll also have the chance to develop several soft skills that are highly sought-after in the world of work today. Unlike traditional, campus-based students, online degree students often have to put in much more work when it comes to designing and sticking to their own personal schedule, motivating themselves to get the work done, and communicating with their peers and professors in a virtual rather than a face-to-face environment - all of which are skills that employers are likely to be looking for more action in the future.

5. Improve Your Network

No matter what major you decide to take while studying online, getting your degree in a distance learning environment is not always quite as isolating or lonely as it might seem at first glance. Today, online learning is much more social and colleges that provide distance learning programs tend to offer a wide range of opportunities for their students to get to know one another and take part in networking. Whether you want to make new friends from your program or build your professional network to help you in your future career, there will usually be lots of options to do this including regular local meets where you can interact face-to-face with other students local to you, social media groups, group chats, chat rooms and forums.

6. Choosing the Right Online Degree for You

If you’ve weighed up all the pros and cons of studying online and have decided that distance-learning might be the best option for you when it comes to getting your degree, then there are several important factors to consider before choosing your college and program. Just like getting your degree on campus in the traditional manner, it’s important to make sure that you are going to be attending a school that is reputable for getting students the best results. Before you send out applications and make a firm decision when it comes to the college you’ll attend and the program you will be studying, here are some of the most essential considerations to make.

7. Credibility

First of all, you will need to make sure that you choose a college that is credible. Ideally, you should choose a school that has been given accreditation from a trusted accrediting body, since this will provide you with peace of mind that the school meets strict academic standards of excellence. This is especially important if you want to study for a degree program that is designed to get you straight into a professional career such as nursing since graduating with a degree from an unaccredited school might make it harder for you to convince future potential employers to hire you over somebody else with an accredited degree qualification. There are various sites that you can use to check the accreditation status of a school or program. This is an important step to take when studying online, since not every online college is going to be a well-known educational institution, and creating online-only colleges and programs is easier than you might think.

8. Resources Available

Before making a final decision on your college and program, another key thing to consider is the resources that you will be offered as an online student to help you succeed. A program that does not offer a lot for online students in comparison to what you’d get if you were studying on their campus might not be worth considering, since you’ll feel that you are being held back and might not always have the same opportunities compared to other students. Before you choose the right college for you, find out more about how long it has been offering online learning. While more and more schools are now offering online options for students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find that you have a better experience with a college that has been delivering education to students online since pre-COVID-19 times.

9. Flexibility

Online degree programs can vary when it comes to the level of flexibility that they offer. How much flexibility you are going to need as a student will of course depend on your personal circumstances, so it’s a wise idea to find out as much as you can about the type of study schedule that you will be given and how much control you will have over this. If you’re happy to stick to a schedule and want to study for your degree with the same timetable as campus-based students, these types of programs are available. On the other hand, if you are working full-time and have other commitments that mean you would benefit from a more flexible option, consider choosing a program that allows you to study in your own time and simply makes the study materials available for you to access whenever suits you best.

10. Student Engagement

While anybody who decides to study online will usually go into this knowing that they are not going to get the same social life as the students on-campus, there’s no need to be completely isolated while you learn. Even if you have decided to get an online degree purely for career purposes and are not concerned about making new friends, engaging with your peers to build your professional network can be a very beneficial experience for you. Before you decide on the right online degree program, consider the level of student engagement on offer and think about the opportunities that you want to meet new people while you study. Are the college and the department you’re going to be studying with committed to making sure that online students are not isolated and have the chance to meet one another virtually?

11. Student Support

Getting an online degree can be a stressful experience for some students, despite the flexibility and ability to study from home. If you’ve decided to study full-time for your online degree while working full-time, not only can this be a huge workload and source of stress on its own, but most students are also juggling that with other personal commitments. It is always a good idea to choose a college that you can rely on to offer the kind of support that you need, whenever you need it. Before enrolling, find out more about the type of student support on offer such as counseling services that you will have access to.

12. Fees and Funding

While getting an online degree will typically set you back around the same amount compared to studying on-campus, it’s always a good idea to shop around and try and find a cheaper option of the same value, since online tuition fees can be more varied. It’s also worth spending time beforehand to find out more about any financial support offered by the college such as scholarships or grants that you may be eligible to apply for. If you’ve decided to study for a degree program that will take you further in your current career, it’s worth discussing your college choice options with your employer if they are offering to pay some or all of your tuition costs.

Online degree programs are set to be the future of adult learning. The benefits are hard to ignore, but it’s worth weighing up several different factors before you decide on a program to start your next challenge.

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TechGlobeX: Top 12 Advantages of Online Degrees and Distance Learning
Top 12 Advantages of Online Degrees and Distance Learning
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